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Is 'selfish' Ronaldo to be blamed for Portugal's World Cup failure?

July 18, 2014 08:13 IST

Is 'selfish' Ronaldo to be blamed for Portugal's World Cup failure?

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Rediff Sports Desk

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly been accused of loving himself too much and his unbalanced attitude has been said to be at the root of Portugal's 2014 World Cup failure.

- Cristiano Ronaldo and girlfriend pose for Vogue magazine

Cristiano Ronaldo's subdued performances for Portugal at the World Cup after his scintillating form for Real Madrid last season suggest the tournament was a bridge too far for the Ballon d'Or holder.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo poses with Irina Shayk
Photographs: Courtesy: Irina Shayk/Facebook

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Ronaldo was expected to be among the stars at the finals in Brazil but after a gruelling season, when his record haul of 17 goals helped Real win a 10th Champions League crown, the Portugal captain did not seem to have much left in the tank.

The attack on Ronaldo came in a column penned by Zvonimir Boban, who bagged four Italian titles and a Champions League with AC Milan as well as captaining Croatia to third place at the 1998 World Cup.

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Image: Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo refresehes himself
Photographs: Jorge Silva /Reuters

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Boban wrote in his column that Ronaldo is an amazing player and he showed that again in Brazil, even if he missed a number of chances, Stuff.co.nz reported.

But, Boban added that Ronaldo's biggest flaw is the way he looks at himself and the team.

Boban suggested that the worrying signs for Portugal came when Ronaldo scored in the Champions League final for Real Madrid in May, removing his shirt for a photo opportunity.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal looks dejected after the World Cup Group G match against Ghana
Photographs: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

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The former Croatia captain wrote that Ronaldo celebrated like he was insane, adding that that was the ultimate proof that the striker loves himself. He added that the headlines should be about the team, not about Ronaldo.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after a missed chance
Photographs: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

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Boban further wrote that the same thing happened with Portugal in Brazil as there was no order or discipline and that all the Portugal players were playing their own game and more occupied with their hair and tattoos, and branded it as 'Hollywood behaviour'.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal works out
Photographs: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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The sight of Lionel Messi and Neymar, who play for Real's arch rivals Barcelona, rattling in the goals for Argentina and Brazil respectively will be a painful blow to the ego of a man who demands only the very best from himself and his team mates.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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Boban wrote that it is a sad thing that a team loses its identity because of an unbalanced captain, both for Ronaldo and for an entire generation.

Ronaldo is theoretically at the peak of his powers and will surely have a part to play at Euro 2016 before perhaps bowing out of international football at the 2018 World Cup.

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Image: Cristiano Ronaldo (left) of Portugal stretches with teammate Raul Meireles
Photographs: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters

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However, the 2014 edition in Brazil is not one he will remember fondly as Portugal woefully underperformed on the biggest stage.


Image: Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) warms up during a training session
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters

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